Need SDN control but don’t want to upgrade your Cisco switches? VMware wants to talk

Martin Casado says NSX gives Nexus 5000 and 7000 users the SDN features they want without replacing hardware

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From an NSX standpoint we think it’s fantastic and we’ve got multiple customers that use containers. Here’s the way that I like to think about it. The application needs some level of portability so you install it in something that can run on premise or in a cloud. It’s not like a VM so you cannot move it around in a live state. It’s just like you install it in a house and then you can move that house wherever you want.

That abstraction could have been anything, but the industry came up with something that kind of looks like a VM, which is a container, which to me is thrilling because we just attach NSX to the container and we’re done. Now your container can be connected to a virtual network. You can apply the security services you want and, if that container pops up somewhere else, those security services follow, as do any network services you assigned, liked load balancing. You can maintain all of the accounting and billing associated with it, you can track traffic, you have visibility and can do troubleshooting, so you can treat it just like a VM.

So containers add value for application portability. I write my app and install it in some environment and I don’t have to change it to install it in a different environment. It’s a very lightweight way to install an application and not have to recompile it or change the configuration if you need it to go somewhere else, but it’s not like the running application could be moved. That’s much, much more difficult.

Which is what vMotion does.

That’s right. Containers are good for app portability. I can bring up a container in Azure and later bring it up in Amazon, but I’m not moving it in a live way. Containers are a very useful abstraction for application writers. If I’m an application writer, I don’t have to recompile anything when it gets moved to Amazon.


Last question here … are you satisfied with the SDN adoption rate so far?


This is a real business. We don’t bundle stuff. We have real production customers and I feel very gratified to be able to say that, having been at this for 10 years. But in addition to that I think there’s this long tail of people still getting comfortable with the idea.

Here’s the real impact. I think people always look for these singular inflection points and the reality is that SDN is a way of thinking about things. It’s a design philosophy. It talks to what characteristics you should have, and you can adopt them piecemeal in different ways as we evolve. People should adopt the best pieces and use it as they can, and I think that is exactly what we’re seeing.






This story, "Need SDN control but don’t want to upgrade your Cisco switches? VMware wants to talk" was originally published by Network World.


Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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